free the pen, a blog for writers

September 14, 2016

Writing Ideas Are Everywhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 1:47 pm

Have you ever sat in front of a blank page and thought that there was nothing to write about? Then consider this: go out in public with your pen and paper and look around. Whether you sit in a mall, a coffee shop, near a dressing room, a restaurant, a movie, actually — anywhere, you will see activity and people. Focus on a facial expression, a unique walk, a conversation, someone talking on the phone, or anything that grabs your attention. Wait for something of interest and write out the scene in detail.

Here are some things to include in the writing of the scene to add depth to your writing:

smells, tastes, sounds, colors, mannerisms, time frames, environments, and why the scene grabs your attention.

Stories are all around us. Look for them. I want to share something that captured me one day in Barnes & Noble.

One Afternoon in Barnes & Noble

Tattoos ringed his neck

slid down his arms

covered his chin

where the hell is his mother, I wondered.


I stared instead into a novel

on the sale table

thought of what I would

do if he were my son


what father would teach

his boy to don cross-bone tattoos

allow earrings in his nose

and lip?


Tears burned

stole my breath

as the tattooed man

moved to a tiny wooden stool

and sat like a blossom holding a bee

an infant placed in his arms

in delicate pink

a small elastic bow hugging

her tiny head.


He cooed and ahhhed

softly kissed her cheek

a vivid smile lighted his daughter’s face

his angel wings opening wide.


I collapsed upon myself

folding into my own ugliness

caught in the empty shell

of a woman


wishing he were my son.

I don’t usually promote any special event on this site but I will be teaching a class through Story Circle Network titled: Writing Story Through People Watching. Here is the link. Please check it out:

Keep the pen moving,



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: